Mark Driscoll’s Oral Fixation

Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll

It’s no headline-grabber when Mark Driscoll does something to annoy me. It’s another thing entirely when he rankles his Baptist brethren.

Many conservative radio stations run a program produced by Driscoll and Mars Hill, his church. But according to a recent BarthsNotes post, a 2007 sermon he offered in Edinburgh which then was broadcast on his program, crossed a line by using the Bible to argue that women should be performing oral sex on their husbands. This, from the article:

During the sermon, which was entitled “Sex, a Study of the Good Bits from Song of Solomon,” Driscoll interpreted Song of Solomon 2:3 as referring to oral sex and then said, “Men, I am glad to report to you that oral sex is biblical…The wife performing oral sex on the husband is biblical. God’s men said, Amen. Ladies, your husbands appreciate oral sex. They do. So, serve them, love them well. It’s biblical. Right here. We have a verse. ‘The fruit of her husband is sweet to her taste and she delights to be beneath him.”

But in true Driscoll fashion, he doesn’t stop there. Here’s another excerpt from Driscoll on the program:

She [the wife] says, “I’ve never performed oral sex on my husband. I’ve refused to.” I said, “You need to go home and tell your husband that you’ve met Jesus and you’ve been studying the Bible, and that you’re convicted of a terrible sin in your life. And then you need to drop his trousers, and you need to serve your husband. And when he asks why, say, ‘Because I’m a repentant woman. God has changed my heart and I’m supposed to be a biblical wife.’” She says, “Really?” I said, “Yeah. First Peter 3 says if your husband is an unbeliever to serve him with deeds of kindness.” [Laughter from audience] How many men would agree, that is a deed of kindness. He doesn’t want tracts. Those won’t do anything. What we’re talking about here could really help.

So not only is fellatio apparently good for strengthening one’s marriage; it’s also the newest thing in evangelism!

Most interesting to me is that this kind of teaching seems to fly in the face of what is often called “complementarianism.” In short, it’s a more politically correct way to promote misogyny while giving yourself the loophole that a “separate but equal” division of roles can, on the one hand, keep a woman out of the pulpit or other positions of power, while also saying out of the other side of one’s mouth that we’re all really on the same level.

The thing is, there’s nothing in his teaching about reciprocating said oral favors. Apparently either he hasn’t found the Biblical basis for such an act or perhaps (more likely) he hasn’t worked nearly as hard on that bit. So despite the vague rhetoric about men and women being equals, he uses the Bible  to promote sexual subjugation.

Now personally, I don’t believe in a hell in terms of eternal conscious torment. But if hell turns out to be something of our own design, Pastor Driscoll may be setting himself up for a less-than-pleasant afterlife. Here’s hoping I’m right on my take of God’s judgment, for Mark’s sake.

About Christian Piatt

Christian Piatt is the creator and editor of BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BIBLE and BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT JESUS. He co-created and co-edits the “WTF: Where’s the Faith?” young adult series with Chalice Press, and he has a memoir on faith, family and parenting being published in early 2012 called PREGMANCY: A Dad, a Little Dude and a Due Date.

  • http://twitter.com/ggbolt16 Greg Bolt

    Holy shit balls!

  • http://twitter.com/pastormev Matt Every

    I’m not sure my wife would sign on to this. And as far as an evangelism tool, I’m pretty sure the police might have something to say if we begin promoting a fellatio night for God. Somehow Discoll sticks his foot (or mouth) in it again.

  • Nathan

    Sahweetjayzus. At the risk of starting a whole thread of jokes…I’m gob-smacked.

  • tanyam

    Could we please declare that Driscoll has used up his 15 minutes of fame. NONE OF US is surprised he said this, and will continue to say stuff like this. Can we expend some outrage on, oh, I dunno, Guantanamo?
    In the 1970′s Christian bookstores were selling a book called “The Total Woman” which argued, basically, that women were on this earth to make men happy. Driscoll is same song, next verse. Same philosophy. But more narcissim perhaps.
    Can we please ignore him?

    • Deb

      I wish we could, but NO. There’s bad teaching, and then there’s dangerous teaching and I think for the sake of abused people, we need to keep talking, But I know what you’re saying :)

  • Frank Emanuel

    I wonder how he reads the part where the Shulamite is masturbating. I once read a feminist biblical scholar’s take on SoS and she said it almost made up for the crappy images of sex in the rest of the OT (plowing anyone). It must be crossing some sort of line when a preacher proverbially comes into your bedroom to tell you the “biblical” way to have sex. I bet he doesn’t think such an act is to be reciprocated, or perhaps that’s the way to save an unbelieving wife? Seriously, Driscoll just needs to shut up for a while.

    • Name

      Then he asks his audience, “Do you have what it takes to save an unbelieving wife? Cause ah, ha, I just can’t believe how BLESSED I am, ya know?? I get an AMEN??”

      • KellyLynne

        Ew. So fellatio is a duty, but cunnilingus is icky. Color me shocked.

  • nope

    there is a word for men, that really like to watch other sweaty men fighting other men, touching each other , all muscly and hot, like driscoll the cage fighter does . there is a word for men who love to talk about men, think about men, focus on men….it is a word I am really comfortable with, is not a negative word for me. but I don’t think driscoll has come to terms with that word. I think maybe mark would be happier if his wife’s name was bill. or steve. cause seriously no normal man is THAT INTO BEING A BIG MANLY MAN. My friend had a cousin who was a biker. Big fat hairy biker. He and his 4 big muscle man friends used to go beat the heck out of gay people, especially the obvious flaming ones. know where those 5 men are now? they are all Out in the gay community as Bears (term for manly hairy gay guys). It is called the jungian shadow, Mark.

  • Marie

    Please Take this down, you are exposing people to this garbage who otherwise would not be, and giving this idiot attention

  • Tim Sams

    Mark Driscoll is at best an obnoxious jerk, at worst a violent heretic. How dare he be so flippant? Does his congregation really give him a pass for this crap interpretation? He does violence to the text and even worse violence to women. Maybe it’s because I am a Dad with daughters, but I’d like to say it’s because I’m a human being, but this is highly offensive.

    I’d really like to sit this bloke down, show him his life in about 20 years, and then get him to say that stuff to his very own daughter about her husband and see if he’s so arrogant.

    I don’t think your post adequately addresses the outrage of his statements–the “most interesting thing” for you is how it relates to complementarianism? Dude, Mark Driscoll is commanding sexual favors in the name of Jesus–this is using Jesus as a power tool for men to get what they want–a.k.a. rape. I think we need to call it like it is.

    • This Name

      That’s technically called “Sexual Abuse.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/2TrakMind Kevin Burgess

    Driscoll looks like Velma from Scooby Doo in this photo. Fitting.

  • Pete

    I think this article should be entitled, “Christian Piatt’s oral fixation with Mark Driscoll.” Is Christ divided? The fruit of your labor is on display in the comments below. You don’t have to be best friends with Driscoll but he’s a brother in Christ and I think you (and many of your followers) treat him unfairly.

    • Hannah

      Is he really a brother in Christ? Because his Christ seems a lot different than mine…

      • Pete

        Yes, he is. He preaches Christ crucified. We shouldn’t be rushing to judgment on whether Mr. Driscoll (or anyone else) is a heretic. Even if we did, he surely would not be at the top of the list! From what anyone can tell from the outside, he loves his wife like Christ loves the Church and his wife loves him just the same. I’m surprised at your comments (and others on this board) if you are a sister in Christ.

        • Hannah

          Yeah…. okie dokie then… I stand by my earlier observation. And add to it that I’m not Driscoll’s or your “sister” in anything, thank you very much. Because… just, no.

          • Deb

            :)

        • mroge

          “From what anyone can tell from the outside, he loves his wife like Christ loves the Church and his wife loves him just the same”

          The key words here are “From what anyone can tell from the outside…” We don’t know what is going on in his marriage or his bedroom but if he considers oral sex to be a right, rather than a choice (which would make it rape if she didn’t want to) then something is terribly wrong with this guy. When he publically announces his views then he should expect criticism. Even if he is a Christian he is human and makes mistakes. He has to be accountable like every other Christian.

        • Deb

          “We shouldn’t be rushing to judgment on whether Mr. Driscoll (or anyone else) is a heretic”

          Maybe not, but women have been putting up with this shit for long enough (saying ‘shit’ is ‘biblical’ : see Paul) The Driscolls in our culture often use their potions of influence to not be accountable- and it’s working.

          Women and men are urged in scripture to test everything- well, this one is a no-brainer- the guy is teaching the people that a women is OBLIGATED to put their husbands penis in her mouth. Graphic? Yes. Call it what it is, and it is every woman’s right and responsibility to follow her conscience on this matter.. This principle is found here:

          1 Corinthians 8:9-13

          9 But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For
          if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? 11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

          Mark may not be disqualified as a brother in Christ, but his teachings are becoming more and more self-serving and his immaturity is showing – and going ‘unchecked’ as far as I can tell.

          Women- If you feel this is a sin, don’t do it: PERIOD
          We really need to learn of God for ourselves- man will always let us down and no one but the Holy Spirit (THE Teacher) can be the Holy Spirit to us. We need to take responsibility for our own walk with God.

          I don’t give a rip how much prestige someone has, or how much influence they’ve managed to acquire- If it smells like it, looks like it, tastes like it- you call it what it is.

          Pete: He may not be a ‘heretic’ but that’s no reason to check our brains at the door and call it ‘kindness’. We are to judge what teachers say and I think it’s reasonable to say that Hannah’s question is a natural response to Marks dark speech,

          • Deb

            Re typo: “…potions of influence”
            Funny, not so far off maybe- a person’s charisma/fame can be intoxicating, causing a crowds ears and eyes to close.

        • Anastasios

          “We shouldn’t be rushing to judgment on whether Mr. Driscoll (or anyone else) is a heretic”
          No one told St. Nicholas (the original one) that when he slapped Arius!

  • http://www.facebook.com/natedmyers Nathan Myers

    It’s from 2007. How many things have you said that you regret from 6 years ago? This awareness is at least a little bit helpful if we’re offering commentary.

    • A P

      Has he retracted this or apologized?

    • http://www.facebook.com/christiandpiatt Christian Piatt

      it actually aired on the broadcast very recently. So they pulled it from his archives to include on their recently produced show.

    • Deb

      Re: “It’s from 2007″
      He’s teaching it in 2013

  • Gerrimy

    FYI he has also teached that men should ‘return the favor’ if you know what I mean.

  • Jim

    Stay classy Driscoll!

  • This is My Name

    Mark Driscoll: Nice pants.


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